Anchor Porter | Anchor Brewing Company

3,689 Ratings
Anchor PorterAnchor Porter

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
With deep black color, a thick, creamy head, rich chocolate, toffee and coffee flavors, and full-bodied smoothness, Anchor PorterĀ® is the epitome of a handcrafted dark beer.

A blend of specially roasted pale, caramel, chocolate, and black malts, along with our top-fermenting yeast, creates complexity without bitterness. The brew is hopped at a high rate, and naturally carbonated. The result is dark in the glass, but surprisingly light on the palate.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2001

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Ratings: 3,689 |  Reviews: 1,546
Photo of Homebrew35
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big three finger head, tan in color. Beer is black with dark red around the edges.
Smells of toffee, some sweet malt, a hint of white wine smell somehow.
Tastes sweet at first, a bit of coffee, chocolate, bitter sweet chocolate lingering finish.
Light carbing, medium full mouthfeel. I could drink a few of these every night.

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Photo of Fyourface316
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a glass. Noticed a nice dark colored frothy head around a nice dark ruby beer. Many fruity aromas. Almost a belgian triple taste but smoother. Would recommend but definitely not the best porter out there.

While it is a pleasant beer, I was disappointed. Seeing the grade it was given, I was expecting more. I'm surprised it's listed as #5. The Robust Porter listed at #6 is better.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stamped OLN.

12oz. tapered brown bottle served cool into a pint glass.

Visually, a fantastic porter. Deep dark brown color with good clarity on the pour. Thick tan head that turns rocky as it settles. Great lace left all over the glass.

Aroma is malty sweet with lots of nice roast. There is brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and creme brule. Very nice.

Flavor is expertly done and likely hasn't changed in the 36 years it's been made. Smooth roasted malts, mild milk chocolate sweetness, and just enough hops to bring it all home.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and somewhat light in body. Carbonation is perfect.

Overall a fantastic American porter. It just keeps getting better as it warms, too. Great flavor and just about perfect mouthfeel.

Surely, one of the granddaddys of American craft porters.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a thin head, not much in the way of lacing on the glass.

Smell is primarily dark roasted malt with hints of coffee.

The coffee comes through stronger in the taste than the aroma, a dark chocolate coffee bitterness happens in the aftertaste, the roasted malt rounds out the flavors, carbonation is quite assertive but at the same time rather soft.

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Photo of GusDom
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Found a bottle for just under 4 bucks so I did not hesitate to try it out.

Pour it into the glass and you get a decent sized head, probably bigger than I expected and mocha in color. The beer itself is a couple shades under black and dark red on the edges.

I love the smell, its pretty complex but not strong. I get hints of vanilla, dark chocolate, banana, and light coffee. The smell lingers but in a mildly soft manner.

Taste is pretty good. The coffee is more pronounced on the palette than on the nose. I get some banana, dark chocolate, vanilla, and hops in the blend. There is quite some lingering of flavor in the mouth, particularly with the coffee. You can taste the alcohol in the background. Drinkability is not too high because this is a thicker beer with a bit of a lingering taste. Again, this is a porter so it's pretty much expected that it is more of a sipping beer than anything else.

Overall, I was truly amazed at the taste and smell of the beer, very much above the price I paid for it. I'm happy I tried it and will probably buy more in the future. Cheers!

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Photo of andrenaline
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at BeerFest and really enjoyed it, so was looking forward to formally reviewing it!

A - Pours a very dark brown, almost opaque, with a nice red hue on the edges. Solid thumb of mocha coloured head with incredible retention and settles into a smooth mountainous terrain. The lacing leaves chunky mocha hills on the side of the glass. Fantastic!

S - Soapy milk chocolate and roasted nutty almond malts. Slightest sweet espresso presence with a hint of vanilla and a bit of woody smoke on the finish.

T - The flavours are nicely balanced with coffee and espresso slightly edging out a semi-sweet dark chocolate flavour. The slighest alcohol is detectable but gives it a nice sweet touch on the finish. Roasted almonds and the roasted coffee lingers on the tongue. Scrumtious!

M - The head is reminiscent of Guiness with a light silky feel to it, the body has a medium feel with a noticeable. A bit of a lighter bodied porter, which is nice. Bubbles up nicely on the tongue. Finishes smooth, definitely no complaints here.

D - This porter has it all and is highly recommended to any porter fan! The appearance is fantastic with look, scent and mothfeel all contributing the a fabulous experience. The flavours are nicely balanced, not overly bitter and the higher ABV goes largely unnoticed.

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Photo of birchstick
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours super dark with a nice two finger dark beige head

S - The most dominant scent on the nose was chocolate malt, which was complemented by a touch of sweet vanilla and molasses. I also got some darker fruits.

T - The taste starts primarily with burnt malt / coffee flavors, which I wasn't expecting due to its lack of presence in the nose. This fades to a nice chocolate taste that evolves into a little bit of the vanilla and a lot of the dark fruits picked up from the nose. This is a nice complex little porter here. Definitely a little different from the norm of the style, however this is in a more subtle than obvious way. Good stuff.

M - between a medium and full body that goes down nicely

D - Porters are one of my favorite styles due to their flavor profile and not-so-crazy abv's. This is one of the better ones I have tried and was a pleasure to try. I'll have to buy this again.

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Photo of Dspohn
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Tricky little code on the back of the bottle, 0AT, which coincides with 04/20/10 after using the invaluable website created by another BA. its pretty much scripture.

5 and 1/2 months old.

A. Very dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges when held to the light. Quite nice looking and complimented by a 1 inch dark khaki head.

S. Dark dark fruit and roasty malts immediately. Smells almost dubbel like but has a fantastic roasted malt scent that is all american porter. Raisins and figs abound and there is a small hop profile, slightly grassy with a touch of pine. A little alcohol actually but I don't get it in the taste.

T. More porter-esque than the nose for sure. Delicious dark roasted malt is on the forefront but the darker fruits are definitely present. Some of the fig and raisin flavor with definite coffee/dark chocolate flavor. Slightly bitter aftertaste that is really spot on in this beer, its a wonderful dark chocolate/pine hop sort of flavor that I think really makes the taste pop.

M&D. Mouthfeel is maybe a little thin but for a porter with such a nice aftertaste it doesn't bother me. Maybe a little undercarbonated though, just a slight bump in carbonation would really help the front/middle of this beer unleash some more of the flavors that I love about this beer.

Overall a great porter, I'm a definite fan.

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Photo of tubacharlie
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The smell of molasses greets the nose when the two-finger head slides back as I swallow the first big mouthful of the dense brew. The chocolately-tan head stays thick and foamy through the last sip, settling down to about a half inch thick.

A dark reddish-brown color and rich with creamy carbonation, this Porter has a nice coffee/toffe profile with a brown sugar and cocoa background and the bite of a bittering hop accent.

Obviously made with care, a good selection for an evening roasting chestnuts in the fireplace with a side of eggnog on the hearth.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, a single from Zyn's wall of single orphan goodness in Calgary.

This beer pours a clear, very dark ruby-brown colour, with three fingers of billowy, creamy, and bubbly beige head, which maintains some solid retention, eventually giving up some nice layered hanging webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of lightly roasted grainy malt, a bit of dry chocolate, ethereally funky yeast, today's coffee, and musty floral hops. The taste is dry chocolate, gritty pale malt, a bit of coffee grounds, mildly sour black fruit, a hint of lactic acridity, and floral, leafy, bitter hops, with a near-silent echo of background warming alcohol.

The carbonation is average, just a tight frothiness emanating throughout, the body more or less dense in its quotidian medium weight, a tad creamy, and mostly just plainly smooth. It finishes clean, with that fruity, chocolaty malt squaring off against the softly bitter, almost citrusy, floral hoppiness.

A pretty decent porter, so suitable for such a rainy autumn day. The undercurrent of fruity and (maybe milky?) sour notes adds a pleasant further dimension to the solid malt/hop interplay. Sure went down easy, this one did - too bad I only procured the one.

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Photo of mjurney
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with ruby red hue. Thick and creamy tan head, lacing looks awesome on the glass.

Roasted malts, dark fruit, some coffee and chocolate, a little molasses. Aroma is pretty mild for a porter, but smells very delicious.

Roasted malts up front, coffee, some dark chocolate, pinch of molasses. I could detect some dark fruit, a little prune like. There's some smokey in the taste. Hop character is pretty mild, I get some spicy-earthly hops. Finish off very smooth with roasted nuts aftertaste. Body is nice and creamy. Carbonation is perfect for the style.

Very good. A true classic American Porter.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into pint glass sept21 2010

A thought it was dark as night until I held it to the light where it has a little color at the edges, a gentle pour still gives a massive mocha head that had good retention and leaves some patches of lace

S lots of milk chocolate with some molasses with a little coffee

T chocolates a little darker in the mouth and perhaps some dark fruit or chocolate covered raisin

M fairly full and a little creamy no problems here

D good flavors for a session beer, easy to drink and no real issues with anything, well matched with this chilly evening

I don`t drink enough of this stuff it`s a treat and well priced here in the Calgary the city of summer snow

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Photo of culver501
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-black, 1/2" light brown head, good lacing

S-licorice, roasted coffee, pumpernickel bread

T-dark and toasted but also very smooth with a perfect level of bitter,

M-excellent, pretty thin for as dark as it appears,

D-great for a porter and one of the best from Anchor as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Almost opaque black. Thick two finger tan head has excellent retention and leaves a good deal of lacing.

S: Dark fruit, roasted malt, chocolate, and espresso.

T: Immense flavors of dark fruit strike the palate first. Blackberries, plums, tart cherries, and a little twang of sourness are all apparent. Citric hops provide a nice balance. Roasted malt flavors, chocolate, and espresso are all evident in the dry finish.

M: Thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Excellent mouthfeel.

D: Drinkability is high.

Notes: This is a classic American Porter that garners a considerable amount of praise. It is a very good beer and there is some complexity to it. However, I found the dark fruit flavors to be a bit too dominating. There is a bit of an astringent quality to it as well that I find to be mildly annoying. This is still a very good beer, and really a must-drink for any beer enthusiast.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How have I not reviewed this before? I've had it so often and enjoyed it. Well, moving on.
Pours nearly black with a large dark cocoa-colored head that dissipates at a reasonable pace to a thickish film. Scattered lacing.
Smell is rich malt, peat, smoke, wet cardboard and vanilla(?).
Taste is all of that and dark chocolate with a slight alcohol bloom at the end.
Smooth, rich, warming with a somewhat dry finish.nearly full body with a very light, tight effervescence. An extremely quaffable brew. Rich enough to drink it slowly, delicious enough to want to have several.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours nearly black in color with a large amount of foamy, creamy off white head. There was some lacing that stayed throughout the beer.

The scent is of dark fruits, chocolate, some alcohol.

The taste is of slightly sweet, burnt caramel malts; dark fruits, some chocolate, molasses, toffee, and alcohol.

Full bodied, very smooth and creamy, little carbonation.

This was almost a perfect american porter, the flavor was great, very complex. Also it was very easy to drink, though it is filling it seemed like every sip presented something new to taste.

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Photo of jikvig
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark colour with a low brown foam.

On the nose there is some milkchocolate, bread and overall a nice chocolate malt flavour.

This beer is really well balanced, perfect between sweetnes and bitternes. Good brewing!
There is almost a breadflavour to it, with topnotes of the floral kind.

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Photo of hoprock
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love porters and this is one my go to beer's. It's got a great mouthfeel, flavor, nose, and is very drinkable. Goes well with food, especially pretzels and cigars. At $8/6 pack, not a bad deal at all either. Readily available and a classic American brewer too. Enjoy!

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this because i love porters and have never had this one. Too bad this was apparently bottled in April of 2010 so it wasn't as good as it could be I bet. Dark black, smells ok, malty. the taste was so malty it was actually sweet and I could not get past it. It was not a bad flavor but I would bet if there were still some hops present this would be more balanced and I'd also bet not as sweet. Oh well.

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Photo of foobeer
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours dark brown with a great looking 1.5" creamy, tan head. Retention was decent and lasted about a quarter of the way through.

S: A nice balance of coffee and roasted chocolate with a hint of sweetness.

T: Great balance of bitterness with sweetness from the dark fruit taste. Not too rich with just the right flavor for a good American porter.

M/D: It goes down nice and smooth. With plenty of complex flavors, and low ABV, I could definitely drink a few of these in one sitting.

I love this porter because it's available locally here in MS where there aren't many good beers to choose from due to the ABV limits. This has become my go to beer for quality and availability

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Photo of ncredible1
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Low Hopped IPA meets a traditional English Porter!

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours near jet-black with minimal mahogany glints where the light manages to fight through. Love the billowy mass of bubbles and lacing-An ideal picture of a porter.

S: This beer displays more out-front black coffee and and molasses notes than other porters, while the chocolate notes sit just within notice.

T: The balance and of flavor is just about perfect. I prefer just a slight less hoppy taste but it depends on what i'm pairing this with.

M: Silky smooth is the best way to describe it. The texture is creamy and slightly sticky, with the perfect amount of carbonation. Full body and not to heavy.

D: Quite addictive and it offers substantial flavor and enough complexity that it never gets boring. I'm always finding something new in this porter that keeps me coming back.

Excellent year round beer and actually might be the best porter for the dollar.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle pours a near-black color with a massive cap of creamy brown foam. Retention is very good and lacing is great. They dont come a whole lot better looking than this.

Chocolate maltiness and dark bready yeast mix with a light hint of fruit and some chalkiness that I usually get with English porters. Not an overly bold nose, but what is there is fantastic.

Taste has a jab of piney hops with alot more fruit in the flavor than I anticipated. The malts are more roasty and the chocolate fades away a little bit. I could use more texture...a creamier, fuller body would be great. The finish is quite bitter for a porter and not much in the way of sweetness. This is my third or fourth bomber of this and I have come to the conclusion that it is just not really made for my tastes. I'd give it a go on draft though to see if my feelings change.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type - Bottle

A - Pours a deep, dark ruby brown, with a nice, thick, creamy sepia head and lacing.

S - Smell is of caramel, roasted espresso, chocolate, and I seem to detect some hints of dark fruit in here.

T - Lots of malts up front! Caramel, molasses, and bittersweet chocolate, with a bready texture make up the main flavors of this beer. Finishes off with some roasted coffee notes and just enough hops to balance things out. Incredibly flavorful!

M - Rich, full bodied, and creamy. Just the way a porter should be!

D - While the full body makes it more of one to savor, the ABV is low enough to session this beer if you wanted to.

Overall - A really nice, solid porter overall. Worth a buy if you're into porters.

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Photo of dgilks
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Moderate coffee aroma with some earthy notes. Nice.

Good dark brown colour. Clear with a small, creamy tan head.

Pleasing chocolate and roast flavour with some fruitiness helping to round out the palate.

Medium body and moderate carbonation accentuate the right notes.

A tasty porter with good flavour but nothing over the top.

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Photo of halo21
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Enjoyed in an imperial pint glass; this opaque black-with-a-hint-of-red beer was capped off nicely by a chunky tan head with nice lacing. The head lasted most of the way down and left nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet toffee and coffee; nice inviting level of roast. A little bit of dark fruit notes.

Taste: A nice balance between the roasted malts and the sweetness of baker's chocolate. Starts off with a bunch of fruit and molasses up front, followed by roast, and a drying hop finish. Very deep.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dense, and creamy without being too heavy. A nice drying finish.

Drinkability: Big.

Notes: This is everything an American porter should be. A perfect beer from one of my favorite breweries.

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Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,689 ratings.
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